Three people died in a multi-vehicle accident that shut down the eastbound lanes of the snow-covered Ohio Turnpike in Sandusky County, between Cleveland and Toledo, on Wednesday.
It was just the latest pileup on the highway in an area where there has been record-breaking snowfall this season. Toledo Express Airport saw a record 84.8 inches of snow this season, including Wednesday's snowstorm, outpacing the old record of 73.1 inches set in 1977, according to The Toledo Blade.
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Ohio Highway Patrol estimated that 40 to 50 vehicles were involved in the pileup, and one trooper, Andrew Clouser, was injured when he became pinned between two vehicles. He is reportedly in stable but serious condition at Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center in Toledo.
Ohio's state patrol told The Associated Press
that Grzegorz Piwowarczyk, a 42-year-old truck driver from Palatine, Ill., and 20-year-old Hannah Matheny, a passenger in a car from Parma, Ohio, died in the initial accident that involved 16 vehicles. Troopers said that a second set of chain-reaction collisions killed Janice Robb, 66, of Schererville, Ind.
The Toledo Blade reported that several other major roadways were closed because of collisions on the snowy thoroughfares, including Route 2, which is east of Port Clinton, and Interstate 75 in Luna Pier, between Toledo and Detroit.
National Weather Service Meteorologist Stephen Rodriguez told the AP that strong winds caused heavy, wet snow to blow and drift across roads in the upper Midwest Thursday morning.
Snow, as much as 9.3 inches in some areas of southern Michigan on Wednesday, caused repeated crashes in the area. More than 100 inches of snow fell this winter — three feet more than normal — in South Bend, Ind., which is along the Indiana Turnpike.
"I'm tired of the snow. Yesterday we had a real nice day and today it's back to winter and cold and terrible," Debi Ciesielski, of South Bend, told the AP.
Toledo officials issued a Level 3 travel ban in the city Wednesday because of blowing snow.
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